Lesley Flutter: On-Trend Creations

Last fall, I sewed up this version of the Lesley Flutter Sleeve and was in love with the free-flowing arms while still having a great fit throughout the torso.

Skinnies Jeans 4

 

Today I’ll be sharing a few versions of the Seamingly Smitten Lesley in this season’s on-trend prints as well as tips and tricks for the best Flutter sewing experience!

 

First — meet Lesley in brushed poly elephants. Both brushed poly and elephants are on-trend. Even in summer, with the correct drape, brushed poly feels heavenly (and not too hot). You can see how the sleeves cascade down the body, yet they don’t actually have such a major arm opening. This is a unique feature of the pattern; it is both sewn from the inside and outside (we’ll get more to that below).

Elephant Flutter Sleeve Top

 

The second way to style the Lesley is with both a solid and a pattern. The top has just one pattern piece for both front and back, allowing you to really play with fabrics! You could style with lace, solid (brushed poly, rayon spandex, bamboo lycra, etc.). Here, I’ve used a trendy stained glass brushed poly and solid mustard brushed poly. The shirt is reversible (just don’t add a tag), so you can wear it loud/printed or soft/solid depending on your mood. It’s also a great way to subdue busy prints.

 

Lastly, here’s our third on-trend Lesley in vertical stripes. The double brushed poly I used had enough stretch either way to really make this work. Additionally, this particular pattern doesn’t require too much stretch. So, although the stretch was best with horizontal stripes, I chose to go vertical!

Tips and Tricks

Hemming the Lesley – A great deal of the Lesley construction is hemming (neckline, full side sleeves, and bottom). The pattern calls for a double-roll method, where you’ll fold under and under once more. This is the cleanest finish, and I’d recommend using a double needle, stretch stitch (like zigzag), or coverstitch to finish your hems on knit garments. Alternatively, you can also serge the full ends and fold under just once if you don’t mind the inside serged edges showing a bit within the flowy sleeve.

 

WARNING: The last step says to sew the garment RIGHT SIDE OUT…and it’s correct!

Lesley Flutter Tutorial 2

After you’ve sewn the complete garment, there is one final step. The instructions say to turn the garment right-side-out and stitch up from the side seam. This is correct and you’re not reading it wrong! It’s very rare in the sewing world to stitch a garment seam from the right side; but this is what creates your beautiful flutter while preventing too wide of a sleeve opening. If you’ve made this mistake already, you’re not alone! I’ve had to grab my seam ripper a time or two 😁

SEW AND SHARE

So there you go! Find your perfect fabric (what speaks to you), and sew your first (or maybe 10th!!) Lesley Flutter Sleeve Top. When you’ve finished, use the hashtag #LesleyFlutter, and be sure to share in the Seamingly Smitten Facebook Group; I want to see what you sewed up!

Flutter Sleeve Collage

 

All on-trend printed fabrics in this post are from Love Adore Knits. The owner of Love Adore passed away, and the Love Adore team is in a short period of transition. They will be back shortly to continue Kimberly’s vision and to serve an amazing sewing community! You can join their Facebook page for updates.

 

 

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Portlanders Pants Girls’ Release + Mommy/Me Bundle

Girl Potlander Pants Mama Daughter 2

Just days after I made my Portlander Pants (find my post HERE), New Horizons announced that the girls’ version was coming (Pattern website HERE)! My daughter had just had a meltdown because I hadn’t sewn a matching outfit for us in a while, so voilà–it had to come to fruition!

The Portlander Pants is a year-round pant that is fitted at the top (with yoga style waistband) and flawy toward the ankle. This style is incredibly comfortable and works for both day-wear and feels heavenly for pajamas. My daughter insisted that she needed to wear her new outfit during the day with me and then to bed (I obliged! I mean…comfort).

I used the same monochrome fabric from Love Adore Knits that I used for my pants, and the top is black double brushed poly from Pretty Posh Prints.

I then needed to try the shorts version of the pants (also included in the pattern). I opted for pockets, yoga waistband, and a faux drawstring instead of a full drawstring; I simply sewed my drawstring together, tied it into a bow, and tacked it on. For the polka dot version shown below, I didn’t even sew the drawstring; instead, I just used the fabric selvage that naturally rolls.

Portlander Shorts Girls 2

My polka dot knit is part of Raspberry Creek Fabric‘s CLUB line. I paired with a store-bought tank and a long, vintage necklace for a sweet Euro-style look.

Portlander Shorts Girls 3

My final version used the same method (shorts, pockets, faux drawstring), and I used a patterned pocket and drawstring for a fun, modern look.

As you sew up your girls’ and women’s Portlanders this summer, be sure to share your creations on the New Horizons Facebook page.

 

New Horizons Portlander Pants and Shorts: Monochrome Fashion Classics

Portlander Shorts and Daphne Top 6  Portlander Pants and Daphne Top 4

I tend to sew florals or bright colors. I love pink. But this year I’ve been drawn to blues and neutrals like no other and decided to press into that monochrome pull for this sewing feature of the Portlander Pants by New Horizons Designs.

The Portlander Pants is a pant pattern that runs sizes xxs-3XL and is fitted up top and looser toward the bottom. I feel elegant, yet ready for the beach, in this style.

Creating a monochrome wardrobe (or at least a few staples) definitely has its perks. The neutral coordinating colors will be so easy to pair with other items in my closet. Plus, I’m absolutely, helplessly in love with this black+white jersey print from Love Adore .

The second version of the Portlander (same pattern, different look) that I created was shorts. I simply cut at my desired inseam and tried them on to adjust the length before hemming. For a looser fit, simply grade out in the legs (you can also angle outward); I chose to keep the sizing/fit as-is for a fitted style.

Portlander Shorts and Daphne Top 1

This was a fun way for me to use my black lace overlay material from Knitpop. Since I used a sheer stretch crochet lace material, I lined them with mauve double brushed poly (Pretty Posh Prints). The mauve was on the verge of being a bit too nude–but paired with the right top, I ended up loving it as a quick way to feel classy and comfy.

Portlander Shorts and Daphne Top 3

The off-the-shoulder top that I chose as an elegant accent to my Portlander Pants was the Mama Daphne top by Made for Mermaids. I used a solid black double brushed poly from Pretty Posh Prints. Many seamstresses grab the solids and then wonder what to do with them; using them to line lace garments (like under the shorts) and for elegant accent tops like the Daphne is perfect year-round.

Portlander Shorts and Daphne Top 7

You can find the PORTLANDER PANTS here at New Horizons Designs. If you sew up this pattern, be sure to share your creations in the New Horizons FB Group!

Portlander Collage

 

The Petite Stitchery & Co. Boho Collection Day 1 Sneak: The Hazel Blouse and Tansy Ruffle Pants

It was impossible for me to blog about the full Petite Stitchery & Co. new boho line in just one write; each pattern is just too breathtaking! So I will share over the course of 3 days to introduce:

  1. The Hazel Boho Blouse & Tansy Ruffle Pants
  2. The Laurel Dress, and
  3. The Clover Tunic and Dress

There is even more to this Boho Collection than the patterns above, so be sure to check The Petite Stitchery & Co. Facebook Group for more sneak peeks of each pattern! The official release is Thursday at 3 p.m. CST.

Now, swoon…welcome Hazel.

When I think of “Boho,” I think of this…big dropped, puffed sleeves, gathered tunic skirt–an overall carefree tunic with style and “earth.” I used a double brushed poly knit from Love Adore Knits, and it was just the graceful drape I was looking for.

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I love the simple facing for the neckline (easy to sew with such a polished look); and since the full bodice isn’t lined, Hazel can be in my girls’ closet year-round.

And those stunning pants, you ask?? Meet Tansy.

These ruffled pants can be made with both woven or knit; I chose a medium-weight poly jegging knit and added a lace accent.

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I love that the Tansy Ruffle pants can look stunning with a simple tank or several of the tunics from the Boho Collection.

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Be sure to come back tomorrow for a sneak peek at the Laurel Dress ❤ It’s almost time for release!!

Greenstyle Creations Scarlet Swing Dress – Tester Round Up

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When I geared up to test the new swing dress from Greenstyle Creations, the only option I didn’t foresee me trying was the cold-shoulder look. But lo-and-behold, I decided I must try this sweet boho trend. The verdict? I love it…and so does hubby!

Many in our testing team have compared the fit and style to the popular Lularoe Carly dress; the bust and arms are more fitted, and the dress has an elegant swing. With sizes XXS to 3XL, I’d definitely recommend sewists to go with the bust measurement and size down when unsure. The style already provides plenty of extra room throughout the lower torso. I measured XXS in the bust, and it was the proper fit.

For my test, I used a brushed polyester spandex from Love Adore Knit Fabrics called Geo Rose. Brushed poly and regular poly spandex offers a beautiful drape for the swing dress.

You can find the Scarlet Swing Dress and full tester pics HERE. The cold shoulder is just one option; the dress comes with several arm lengths (including a bell sleeve!), with or without cold shoulder, different necklines, different lengths (shirt/tunic/dress), and different hemlines (straight or curved) to best suit various figures and styles.

The pattern is on sale for $8.50 (reg. $10) for just 24 hours, until Wednesday, 7 a.m. CST.

Scarlet Swing Dress Affiliate Pattern Link

Spring Floral and Free Pattern: English Tea Party Dress

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I had a vision for this dress as soon as I saw the gorgeous English roses from Love Adore Fabrics. It just had to be my “English rose tea party dress.” Even in the snow.

I used my twirly Sew by Pattern Pieces Fun Tee and Glamour Swirl Skirt mash-up that I blogged about HERE. The Glamour Swirl skirt is FREE to members of the Sew By Pattern Pieces Sewing Circle on Facebook. I combined it with the top of the Ladies Fun Tee (a MUST-have for every pattern collection; she includes several bust sizes that offer a fabulous fit) with the gathered cap sleeve.

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I love how feminine the gathering is; a perfect spring delight!

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Tea (and twirls) anyone???

The Striped Swallow Driftwood Hoodie, Bandless – “Get the look”

Being a pattern tester and being willing to put everything else aside and sew after the “after hours” most definitely has its perks. When I saw Mandalynn Soileau, designer for Striped Swallow Designs share her tunic-length cowl hoodie in a fabric group, I said, “Wherever do I find that pattern?!” And lo and behold, her tester call came very soon after. At first glance, I wasn’t exactly a fan of both a cowl and a hood. But…mind you…it was still in the 70s here in Michigan. By the time I got sewing, I was in love; even the high cowl is perfect for nursing/breastfeeding. I will be living in these this winter.

Pattern: HERE

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One of the unique features of the Driftwood hoodie is the banded bottom. However, if you want a more subtle tunic look (which is what I’ve done), here’s what to do:

Unbanded Look:

  • Add 1/2 the banded width to the total length of the front and back bodice (remember that the bands will be folded in half, which is why we add 1/2).
  • Hem the front and back before sewing the side seams (I serged the bottom, folded up, and used a double needle for the hem).
  • The front and back also have side slits. If you don’t want the side slits, simply grade the front and back pattern piece so there is one fluid line (bottom to top) and no little plateau (which is in the original pattern for the side slits).
  • When it’s time to sew down the arm, sew down the arm and down the complete sides. Voilà!

Fabric: Sweater knit from Girl Charlee

I then used beautiful spun poly from Love Adore, paired with navy microsuede (yummy!). Many wonder what spun poly is and whether it’s silky like poly spandex–but it’s not at all. It’s more like a soft cotton jersey fabric. Isn’t the chainette fringe on the bottom so perfect? I just love how the creative process works in sewing…and having goodies on hand to play with! To get the fringe look, just add fringe (I added it to the outside) as you hem. I was able to do both at once.

…Those poses above, by the way, were a result of my husband saying, “Can you lean against the fence and put your leg up?” I had NO CLUE what exactly that meant (thus the sideways pose). He has a good eye, though; they were some of my favorite captures!

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And here’s a close-up of that Spun Poly…

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I’ll just be over here, all warm and cozy… 😍 😍

 

Constance Sweater, Tunic, and Dress by SALS – Meaningfully Made Collection

daphne-constance-sweater-5  THIS BABY IS EXCITED … AND HERE’S WHY …

Kelly Ballou of Sew A Little Seam (SALS) just released the Constance sweater. I was secretly waiting for her to add a sweater to her incredible pattern shop when she offered the Brynn Sweater free on her website. Oh…and she has free costumes, dresses, and coats listed as well. This woman just has a heart of gold. So here I was, happily sewing this beauty…

…and then I learned that this the first pattern of her Meaningfully Made Collection; 100% of the proceeds will go toward the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation – MMRF. And the Constance Sweater pattern is only $4. You can find it HERE.

This is one of my all-time favorite child sweaters. For testing, I’ve sewn tunic length with a kangaroo pocket and banded bottom. The accent bands on the pocket are one of my favorite touches; it adds such a creative way to play around with fabrics. The knit I chose is super soft hacci from Love Adore Knits. And I’ve accented with mocha microsuede. I.Want.One.

Not shown are the multitude of additional options–three lengths (top, tunic, dress), three sleeve lengths, a hood (which looks awesome, by the way…a very polished hood), heart or oval elbow patches, and the kangaroo pocket and bands.

My little doll had so much fun with her photo shoot. She wanted to stay in her outfit all day; and that’s why I sew. So, I of course let her!

Here she is getting ready…

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And one final picture with mama…

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Okay… just ONE more with mama 😀

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Seamingly Smitten Showcase: The Lesley Flutter Sleeve Top

Although the first glance at the Seamingly Smitten Lesley flutter sleeve top gives a nice summery vibe, I knew right away it’d be a perfect addition to my fall wardrobe. In fall and winter, I get cold. I’m always looking for extra layers and beautiful styles that showcase both elegance and practicality.

When I found super soft hacci sweater knit from Love Adore Fabrics, my fall vision was complete!

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We happened to have a gorgeous 70-degree NOVEMBER day in Michigan, so I opted for nothing underneath, but with a long sleeve under the hacci, I’d be wearing the cutest poncho-looking flutter around. I mean…check out these sleeves!

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The pattern was super simple to put together. There is hemming (neck, full sides, and bottom); the majority of the pattern is hemming. But it’s somehow soothing. And when the hemming is complete, we sew a couple of lines, and Voilà! We have a sweet addition to our fall wardrobe. Or really…summer…spring…winter. I love how versatile the style is. Can’t you just envision it with sequins for New Years?!

Style AND mama approved? That’s a Yes in my book.

 

 

Feature Pattern: Lesely Flutter Sleeve Top by Seamingly Smitten

Feature Fabric: Hacci sweater knit by Love Adore fabric shop. Also on Facebook.

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